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15 Formerly Messy People Share How They Became Neat Freaks Once and for All

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Everyone’s brain works a little bit differently, and while some people can function day-to-day in the midst of mess or clutter, others can’t begin to fathom how it’s even possible. The facts are, however, that people who live in tidier environments are usually happier, more productive, and less anxious than their counterparts.

So, if you’re someone looking to get “clean,” read on to find out what changed these 15 peoples’ perspectives:

#15. The possibility…

“The possibility of ever having a love interest come over.”

#14. I wanted to stay married.

“I got married, then wanted to stay married. Good motivation.”

#13. More free time and less tolerance.

“I quit drinking and all of a sudden had a lot more free time and less tolerance for living in filth.”

#12. Small, quick clean ups.

“I got tired of being embarrassed if anyone ever visited or just avoiding having anyone over at all. And tired of seeing the mess every time I came home and having it on my mind that I would eventually have to clean it up. I live alone so this is what I did.

I got rid of all my dishes except for one bowl, one plate and one of each cutlery. This forces me to rinse the bowl/plate right after I finish eating and means I never have dishes to do. sometimes I do get lazy and just leave the bowl in the sink with soapy water to soak until next meal. also just one frying pan and pot.

I got rid of all my clothes except for 7 pairs of underwear/socks and enough clothes for the week. This forces me to do laundry every week on the same day that I decided is laundry day.

I keep a sponge and cleaning stuff right beside the bathroom and kitchen sink and counters. when they start to look a little dirty, I give them an easy quick wipe off. I found its much easier to do small quick clean ups than wait and do a big messy one.”

#11. Let’s not let things get so bad.

“I deep cleaned my room one day on a whim. Discovered mold growing on the wall and floor and mattress and sheet from the crappy building leaking. The mold was of course making me sick and since I was spending all my sick time in bed, next to the mold, I wasn’t getting any better

I don’t live there anymore, but it’s been a pretty good way of looking back and telling myself, ‘let’s not let things get so bad I can’t tell if mold is growing anywhere’”

#10. A better handle on my mental health.

“I got a better handle on my mental health. I realized how much happier I feel when things are clean, and also what caused the executive dysfunction that made me messy. I’m still not perfect. I’m still disorganized. But it’s a whole lot cleaner than I used to be.”

#9. Mitigate risk.

“I just realized as I was growing up that 95% of bad things that happened to me were my own fault in some way, so the best way to avoid that is to organize my life. You can’t misplace things if you always put them in the same place. You can’t run out of clean clothes if you always do your laundry the same day each week. You save a lot of money, and can generally eat healthier, by making your own food. If you work out regularly, you stop getting sore from working out. When you have a clean living space and eat healthy, you get sick less often. Even when you do get sick, your body can fight back if it’s in good shape.

Not everything is preventable, but the vast majority of mistakes are from carelessness or rushing to do things. By planning ahead or taking care of them before it’s necessary, you mitigate risk significantly.”

#8. It feels good to see progress.

“Got super depressed but still had some energy and since I hated myself anyway I decided to deep clean my room on a whim. It actually started to feel good to see progress. After three days I walked into my room and it was clean and organized. I laid down on my bed and felt at peace.

Ever since then, I keep things tidy at home and work because it feels mentally a little better to at least be physically comfortable.”

#7. I’ve never looked back.

“I was sick of not being able to see my floor so I just spent an afternoon cleaning my room. I was surprised by how much better I felt, and I’ve never looked back. Now I usually clean it about once a week and I get excited for it too, It’s really nice coming home to a clean room after a long day!”

#6. It makes a rather large difference.

“I just started having less stuff. You’re not repeatedly moving around your shit if you have less shit to move. I highly recommend the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. It requires around 2-3 days of constant dedication, but if you do everything she suggests, it makes a rather large difference. I threw out 13 garbage bags and a bunch of other things that couldn’t fit neatly into bags. My life was changed, as advertised.”

#5. Anxiety-linked.

“My cleaning is super anxiety linked. When I would feel anxious, I would get deep into something like a bathroom. And not just whatever cleaning, deep cleaning!!! I would take the toilet seat off and clean everything until it sparkled. The end result of it made me feel more in control of my life and my surroundings.

My tip would be have the right tools – rubber gloves, good sponges and cloths, cleaning products that work. It makes the whole task feel more manageable.”

#4. Retraining yourself.

“I realized that neatness is a matter of continuous little actions rather than one big cleanup. If an object is put away immediately after being used, the mess/clutter never builds up to the point of overwhelm. If a mess is cleaned up immediately after it’s made, you never have a 2-hour cleanup job. It’s just a matter of retraining yourself to always do the little cleanup steps.”

#3. For the dog.

“Getting a dog who gets into EVERYTHING. He’s too smart for his own good. So if I wanted my dog to stay alive, which I did, I had to stop being a slob.”

#2. It just clicked.

“I used to be so messy it was crossing the line into dirty… Clothes everywhere, dirty dishes stacked-my friends would come over and just start cleaning because they couldn’t stand it. My husband is very tidy and we would get in so many arguments. I really would try to be a clean person but it seemed so overwhelming and out of reach that I thought I would always live that way.

One day I overheard my mom and my husband talking about my messiness and my husband said to my mom, “she just never puts stuff away” and for some reason, it just clicked this time. Being tidy is nothing more than just putting stuff away.

I used to see it as vacuuming, folding clothes, doing dishes, wiping off the counter, and a million other unrelated tasks that I thought I can never get good enough at all these things to be a tidy person but it turns out they are all just variations on putting things away. Forever changed my outlook.

I don’t put everything away as soon as I should but now when I have a few minutes to spare like when I’m waiting for the microwave and at the end of the day I always just start putting stuff away. I’m so proud of myself for being the tidy person I’ve always wanted to be and it’s so nice being able to let people in my apartment with no notice.”

#1. For the money.

“For me it was the dea what I was paying money to be in this space. I was working every day to come home, and home was a place to relax. No one wants to come home to a messy kitchen, clothes everywhere etc. To walk in after a long day an have everything just so is…its perfect. I am paying serious money to be here- so it should look good!

Hence why I clean a small amount every day and spiff things up before going to sleep. :”